The first 2,403 words (minus some minor alterations made by me) after this were betaed by the awesome Verkisto, unfortunately due to some problems the rest of the chapter and fic are not. If anyone else is willing to beta I'd be ecstatic.
A/N- Sorry, Jill haters, but I'm not one of you, and since this is a pretty major AU, I took a much more Jillfriendly approach to Chuck and Jill's relationship. They broke up but salvaged a friendship in later years. She's actually taking a role similar to Morgan's. (He would be there, but I needed someone smart, hardworking, and not a moron.)
Sarah will be a bit different, this is an AU. Her childhood is now better, but worse. That'll make sense eventually.
This is a combination of Chuckverse and Ryanverse (Clancy) I moved everything in the book about a decade back. 9/11 didn't happen, per se. This will be taking place just after "Executive Orders." Below is a basic plot summary, you can read it if you want to although I'm not sure if it contains much that you need to know.
"Executive Orders" Basic Plot Summary: At the conclusion of a brief war with Japan (started by Japan in reaction to a new law that allowed America to mimic their tariff practices), a Japanese pilot crashed his stolen commercial airliner into the Capitol building during a joint session of Congress (this was written pre-9/11), killing almost the entire government, leaving only Jack Ryan as President (he had been Vice-President for about 5 minutes at that point). Shortly after, Iraq was taken over by Iran (when Saddam was killed by an Iranian sleeper agent, a major difference than the real world, obviously). Iran then decided to launch an Ebola attack on America in an attempt to kidnap the president's daughter, kill Ryan, and take over the rest of the Middle East. Ryan has ordered martial law and banned interstate travel in order to deal with the Ebola outbreak and, in the process, managed to thwart another assassination attempt by American anarchists. Following this, he rescinded the executive order banning assassinations and spearheaded the military defeat of Iran that culminated in the assassination of their leader on live television.
So I think you're caught up now. If you have any other questions about this wonderful Universe ( Tom Clancy is my favorite author.) just leave it in a review or shoot me a PM and I'll either address it in an update (if it's fairly serious, an anonymous review or just asked a lot) or I'll just send you a message explaining it to the best of my ability (it has been a few years since I read the books, and I'm going through them right now).
I will be taking some liberties with Chuck's job. He is both an analyst and an OTS (Office of Technical Services CIA Q branch as per my understanding of it) computer engineer. I have no idea what it's like to work for the CIA, so to anyone who does, any mangling of it is completely unintentional.
Chapter 1- First Encounters
Chuck pushed out of his desk, spun around, and grabbed the cubicle wall that separated him from his female OTS colleague . "So what are you doing this weekend?" he asked ingenuously.
She answered as he pushed himself into her cubicle. "We're heading into the city."
"Doing what?" Chuck flashed a quick smile before sidling his chair next to her so he could see what she was doing.
"Me and Steve are going to look at wedding cakes. What about you?"
"I'm probably going to pull some overtime and write some new tasking programs for our satellites."
She looked at him incredulously, "Chuck, it's the weekend. Please go out and do something fun. Don't just sit around and work. You're young, sweet, and to be perfectly honest, and I would think the girls would think it's sexy to be dating James Bond."
He hated it when his ex talked about dating other people. He was over her, but it still made him uncomfortable. They had managed to forge a friendship when she'd joined the CIA and had been given the desk next to his. That had helped him get over her and they'd reestablished the close friendship they had had before they had started dating way back in college. "But I'm not a spy! And when they find that out that I'm an analyst and not some super-spy, they dump me." he grumbled.
"Chuck, you have a lot to offer a woman, and if they dump you just because you aren't some super spy, well, then they're not good enough for you."
He was about to say something when his phone started ringing. Chuck quickly spun out of her cubicle and back into his own . "Charles Bartowski…Now, sir?...Yes, sir." He gently replaced the phone in the holder and then turned back to Jill. "Shit, I have to go see Mary Pat."
"The DDO?" The Deputy Director of Operations was a legend for her cold war work in the agency. She'd been the handler of CARDINAL, the top double agent in the Russian government.
"One and the same."
"What does the deputy director want with you?" She was worried about him. Chuck certainly wasn't field operation material. Her greatest fears had always been that one day he'd be sent into the field for some sort of hacking job and never return.
"No idea. Hopefully, that wasn't her car I hit yesterday." He nervously hurried out the door and towards the elevator.
"Go right in, Mr. Bartowski," the secretary said the moment Chuck appeared in her outer office. Chuck continued forward, not even breaking his stride. Passing through the open door he was met by The Deputy Director of Operations, Mary Pat, and the "Co- Deputy Director of Operations" her husband Ed Foley.
"Ah, good. Mr. Bartowski, I was told that you're the man to see about computers."
"Uh, yeah, I guess, but don't you have an IT department to fix your computer?" Chuck asked uncertainly. While he was sure he could remove whatever virus or problem the Deputy Director had with her computer, he really didn't want to do that kind of work anymore. After all, Chuck was a Stanford graduate. Why would he be doing the job of someone who still worked as part of the Nerd Herd?
"No, my computer is fine; however, Agent Walker's hard drive needs fixing."
Mary Pat pointed to the blonde agent, who was trying to hide in the corner behind a plant but failing miserably. She looked nervous, shy, and he could see a few bruises on her arms and face. Chuck had heard of Agent Walker, a top CIA agent who was supposed to be on the fast track and following in the footsteps of Mary Pat herself. So why would she be nervous?
"As I'm sure you can imagine, the information isn't exactly for just anyone to see," Mary Pat continued.
"So you need me to fix her hard drive and forget I saw anything? No problem." At this point, Chuck would have agreed to build a new Cray from scratch if it meant he wouldn't get in trouble for the occasional off-the-books stuff he did or the amount of overtime he put in.
Agent Walker didn't want to speak; she didn't trust her voice, so she just gave him a weak nod. The rumors might have been that she was on track to follow Mary Pat or maybe even John Clark, whose Cold War operations were required learning at The Farm, where he also taught. But while that was quite an honor, she had heard the rumors about Charles Bartowski and among the upper echelons of the CIA, he was considered to be following in another analyst's footsteps: the analyst who currently occupied White House. Jack Ryan's exploits were legendary, and a few were expecting the analyst standing before her to follow in his footsteps.
He didn't know how to handle a gun and had nowhere near the good relations with Britain that President Ryan had—of course, how many opportunities were there to save members of the Royal Family?—but Chuck had a great mind for crunching intelligence, and some of the gadgets he had developed for the agency had saved more than a few agents from certain death, including Sarah herself. Because her missions often forced her to assume different cover Ids, she figured he didn't know how often he had sent her intelligence or made a gadget specifically for her missions, but she felt she owed him. It didn't hurt that she had found him slightly attractive in a geeky sort of way. Not that geeky was really Sarah's type, but if he was supposed to be like Ryan (which, if Sarah believed half of what Mary Pat had told her, was quite the honor) he wasn't merely a geek.
Considering her silence, stance, and attempt at hiding, Chuck assumed Agent Walker had some kind of problem with him and decided to try to appeal to her agent's ego. "Agent Walker, it's an honor to meet you. I've read through some of your mission files, and I must say, you are amazing" Chuck said sincerely.
Sarah blushed, and it took every ounce of strength she had to avoid responding in kind, but she didn't want to make even the remotest suggestion of impropriety in front of her mentor. Or perhaps it was a feeling of gratitude that compelled her, given the fact that, on her last mission, a gadget he'd developed to jam the detonation signal of enemy explosives and that he had also managed to somehow to fit into a rather attractive necklace had saved her life. Besides, she had promised to meet up with Bryce for dinner in a couple of hours, and if she started flirting with the geek, she knew that she'd be busy for the rest of the night thanking him, even if not in words, for that little necklace. It would be the least she could for the man, but as she looked at him, she realized that, unlike most men she encountered, he wasn't looking at her as though she were an object. The deep brown eyes that were fixed unerringly on Sarah's clear blue ones were not full of the usual glint of lust but with a concern that startled the agent with its intensity and caused her insides to heat up in a sudden very primal, very female response.
She swallowed and tried to restore some of her self-control. "Come on, I left it in my office." She didn't dare say anything more than that. Her voice sounded normal, to untrained ears, but to the practiced ears of the Directors her voice was higher than it should have been and belied far more than a hint of nervousness.
Sarah blushed when she grabbed his hand and pulled him along, why was she acting so juvenile? He didn't need his hand held, literally or figuratively. She considered, briefly, that she could be suffering from some kind of Florence Nightingale syndrome.
He followed her along leaving the husband and wife, CIA power couple, in her office alone. "Ed, tell me I didn't just see what I think I saw?"
He slipped behind her, "Did you just see your protégé act like a schoolgirl with a crush? Personally I liked her little hiding-behind-the-plant-so-he-won't-see-me-thing. It was quite adorable."
"That's what I was afraid of." The blonde Director groaned sadly.
He slipped behind her and placed a gentle hand on each of her shoulders. "Did you just see your protégé act like a schoolgirl with a crush? Personally, I liked her little hiding-behind-the-plant-so-he-won't-see-me-thing. It was quite adorable."
"That's what I was afraid of," the blonde director groaned sadly.
"Oh, come on, we managed to make it out alive."He squeezed his hands slightly, gently massaging her shoulders.
"Yeah, we did."
"Then what are you worried about?"
The deputy director laughed. "That maybe my favorite agent is going to get attached to that kid and get herself killed thinking about Bartowski on some mission or become heartbroken and careless. Sarah's good, she'll go places, if she keeps her head in the game. We kept our heads in the game."
Ed considered that for a moment before remembering the main reason he had been in the director's office when Walker had arrived. "I just had a new operation come across my desk, with a base in Switzerland. I can have Walker and Larkin on a flight leaving tonight. I assume that's soon enough?"
His wife and boss snorted slightly in derision. "We are talking about Sarah Walker here. If she's emotionally involved with the guy, you could move them in together and put them at the same desk for the next three years and she wouldn't make a move. That girl only moves if she's on a mission."
Ed was glad he was able to lift her spirits a bit, but business still remained. "What about Bartowski?"
She shook her head, "Don't know. He's not mine."
"I doubt he'll make a play for her tonight. He just doesn't seem the type. But I suppose it's possible she could want some human contact and decide that he'd be a convenient lay."
"She's partnered with Larkin. Something tells me that if she's just looking for casual sex, the tech geek isn't the first guy on her list."
As the blonde agent dragged her willing technician into the elevator she didn't fail to notice the look from the other woman in the elevator. The brunette quickly looked at her, then did a double take when she saw who Sarah was with. Initially Sarah had felt a little protective of her computer geek, the woman's gaze did seem a bit predatory after all, but she quickly suppressed the desire to hurt her. She was glad she did when the woman's gaze changed from predatory to friendly and approving. "You know Chuck when I said you needed to get out there and find a girlfriend I didn't mean you had to start dating the first girl you met."
Sarah and Chuck quickly exchanged a nervous look. Both concerned with what the other one was thinking. "We aren't dating," Sarah nervously and quickly explained. She needed to quickly get her emotions under control and figure out how to deal with whatever it was she felt for this man. She didn't realize how her immediate denial would look to the other two.
The brunette's gaze went right back to predatory and confrontational. Jill didn't even consider that she was dealing with a trained agent, "What why not? Chuck is a great guy, someone you'd be lucky to be with, and that's something you'd know if you spent ten minutes with him." Despite having broken up years prior, their relatively new friendship had made her protective of her first love. She no longer wanted to date or him, but she still wanted to look out for him and she knew he looked out for her to.
"Then why aren't you dating him?" Sarah's agent instincts had kicked in and she was ready for a conflict with the other woman.
"Well we did, but I'm currently engaged to someone else."
Chuck felt like he didn't exist, he was glad for that fact to, with the way the two women were looking at each other he didn't want to be involved.
"So you broke up with him?" Sarah smiled triumphantly at her victory. She'd learned that Chuck was single—something she had assumed from the beginning, but it was nice to have some confirmation—and she'd put the woman in her place.
Jill bit her lip, "We were drifting apart and he was moving out east and I didn't want to deal with a long distance relationship."
Sarah was tempted to continue playing with the scientist, but she realized that sometimes the scientists saved her life to and Chuck appeared to be friends with her. The elevator binged and the door slid open, "Come on Chuck time for you to fix my hard drive." She said trying to make it sound like innuendo while glaring at Jill. Unfortunately she said it with a little too much anger, and rather than sounding seductive, sounded just plain mad. Jill laughed as Chuck followed her out.
"And that should do it." Chuck exclaimed as he finished up and the computer screen popped to life.
Sarah jumped up from the chair she had been sitting in. She smiled as warmly as her twenty hour day would allow for. "Thanks," she leaned over behind him as he started running some basic programs. "Check the spreadsheets." He complied, quickly.
"Are you sure I should be looking at this?" He said as she pointed to the document she wanted him to open.
She hummed pleasantly in his ear. He probably would have been given the data to analyze on Monday, but technically he didn't have clearance for it yet. But data analysis was not Sarah's strong point and it couldn't hurt to have him take a look at it as well even if he technically wasn't cleared for it. As they began scanning the spreadsheet she unconsciously started running her fingers through his hair. "I think this is what you're looking for?"
As she scanned the numbers she wasn't seeing what he was talking about. "I don't think so." He highlighted a pair of columns labeled -239 and Sh-6, "What is that?"
"Well if I'm interpreting that right its plutonium-239. Some people use it to make bombs and this right here," he pointed to the column labeled Sh-6, "That's probably shorthand for the Iranian missile."
She smiled, "Well I see your reputation is well deserved, I wouldn't have caught that. Thanks Chuck I have to go report this." She quickly queued it up to print. She figured she'd drop it off while she headed up to see what Ed Foley had called her about a couple of minutes earlier.
He spun around sputtering, "Wait…Wait what reputation do I have?"
She was surprised, how could he not know what his reputation was? "Are you an egomaniac or do you really not know?" She certainly worked far too long a day to deal with the former.
"I really don't know." She knew that he was being completely honest with her.
She looked at him, questioning him. "You're supposed to be the best and a few people think you'll be following in the Ryan's footsteps."
He laughed, "I don't think I'll be saving too many princes, but thanks for the compliment."
"I didn't create the rumor, but I will be telling people that it is very well deserved."She gave him a quick uncomfortable smile, the idea of leaving him alone in her seldom used office did not appeal to her. She didn't remember what was in there and Chuck discovering any personal details that might be there was not a welcome thought.
"Thank you Agent Walker, but it really wasn't all that difficult hell you probably could have called the nerd herd and they would have been able to do it." He stood up to leave and return to his desk where he had a pile of work waiting as always.
"Call me Sarah," she said as he walked out the door. She had considered asking him out, he had been nice to her, treated her with the utmost respect, she knew he was smart, and he was cute in the geeky sort of way. But at the same time she felt something holding her back, preventing her from pursuing what she wanted, what if he said no? She couldn't risk that. Besides, she rationalized to herself; she was an agent and frequently had to leave on missions that occasionally included seducing marks, that wouldn't be fair to him.
Ed Foley looked up from his papers when he heard the door open and close. "Agent Walker, did he take of your problem?"
"I already filed my report, is that why you wanted me?"
"We have a new mission for you." He handed her the file. "Switzerland, we want you to check out some interesting shipping."
Her shoulders slumped; she was tired and sore from the previous and had been looking forward to some time off or a mission in the sun. "Oh? I thought we'd be pursuing the intel we just got back? It seems rather important." She didn't really have much interest in going back to Switzerland. It was cold this time of year, and she already felt a little pale.
"No we're handing that off to another team."
"What time do we leave?" She hoped to at least have some time to recover from the injuries she'd sustained during the previous mission. Granted they were minor, but she never liked to start a mission with bruises.
A/N- Comments? Complaints? Issues? Reviews? Come on you know you want to tell me.